Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Last Word on Hives... maybe

They're not gone by any means, but they've gone from only his trunk (when they first started) to all over, and now they've left his trunk and are just on limbs and face. They also no longer look as if he's been beaten or burned, but more as if he has an exotic medical problem or some very extensive birthmarks. Now that having someone reaching for the DCFS hotline is much less likely, I felt comfortable taking him to the grocery store. I should have taken along a sociology student to note the reactions.
When you do an entire, extensive shopping trip with a toddler, and not one person smiles at him, waves at him, makes faces, etc., there is a reason. Uniformly, from all adults, the reaction was to glance - and look away. You don't want to be caught staring, that would be rude - you don't want to ask, that would be rude - so the least rude option is to not look. We adults are quite sophisticated in our handling of obvious deformities, handicaps, and things that make people look different. The BEST, most honest and candid reaction was from a little girl who walked past us - whose eyes widened to their outermost, jaw dropped, and head swiveled to follow us. Her older sister turned her around. I just thought it was funny. YES, HE LOOKS WEIRD. WE KNOW THIS. IT'S FINE. It's perfectly natural to stare.
So we have been to Dr. Lehman's office for followup, and the overall conclusion is something called serum sickness. It was ruled out by the original blood testing, but the symptoms fit it better than anything else. Serum sickness can be caused by a virus, a medicine (though it may never again happen when taking that same medicine) or just some random protein that sets off a reaction. It answers the extensiveness of the hives, the "reactive arthritis" (his joints were swollen and painful, still are to some extent), and the fever he had yesterday afternoon. The blood test says no, the symptoms say yes, either way it's still a "treat the symptoms, wait it out" thing. And now we can definitely see progress, with the trunk entirely clear and no new ones on the trunk. The limbs are still popping up new ones. I would say we may be clear by sometime next week if it progresses at the same rate, sooner if the ADULT dose of Allegra he's getting speeds things along. He's getting the regular adult dosage of Allegra, split into two doses twelve hours apart. This morning, one eye was swollen completely shut - by the time he laid down for a morning nap, he could see through it a little. And he was stomping around happily on his trampoline, wonderful news since yesterday he cried in pain any time I stood him on his feet. His ankles had been so puffed they were purple. This morning they are still purple, but more normally shaped, and obviously more comfortable.
I believe we will play outside after lunch! For the first time in five days!

1 comment:

Pres. Kathy said...

Glad to hear that things are getting better. Your story is a good example for us all not to stare at something that we see that might not look "normal" to us. It is better to just mind our own business.